A reader sez concerning…
As the comment from Alias Clio pointed out, you misread Paglia. Paglia is not a superstitious believer in omens.
She was saying that Bush, unlike the ancients, has no sense of how a catastrophe in the skies could have so much consequence outside of America for symbolic interpretation. Bush and his advisers have no sense trepidation at starting a war, no sense of unintended consequences of war (especially the occupation).
Paglia is not so superstitious as to see symbolic meaning in debris falling on the town of Palestine, TX, but she realizes that people, even educated people, both here and overseas, do see symbolic meaning. Remember the Islamist pleasure at Allah’s punishing the Americans by destroying the Columbia or the Canadian “newstwit” speaking of American “arrogance”. The “entrails” were simply metaphors that Paglia drew from her deep and acute understanding of world literature, and especially the use of symbols.
Paglia wanted to connect that tragedy to the present moment in American foreign policy. The spectacular loss of the Columbia, comes at a special historic and frightening moment in our history. Thus our perception of the disaster and the world’s both differ from the universal sympathy accorded our last shuttle loss.
The Columbia tragedy may affect American foreign policy. But Bush has never spent any serious time outside of the US (as Paglia notes). He is unlikely to consider what the world thinks and has said so.
Okay. Fair enough. I think you’re right that I misread her. At the same time, however, I would note Hitler and Co saw the death of Roosevelt as a sign. I think Bush and his advisers have plenty sense of trepidation myself.